17 Important Medical Receptionist Skills and Abilities


Medical receptionists are a necessary component to any healthcare office. They assist chiropractors and physical therapy centres to chronic pain clinics and physicians’ offices. A medical receptionist must have a very specific skillset to be able to successfully navigate the dynamics of a medical office. Here are seventeen medical receptionist skills you will want to have:

Skill #1: Experience

Among all the necessary medical receptionist skills, nothing beats experience. Not necessarily a skill but rather a history, experience strengthens the case that you can do the work because you already have in the past. Even experience in a non-medical office can be an asset in this regard.

Skill #2: Terminology

This comes with education at a medical office administration course, but a medical receptionist is expected to know medical terminology. They may occasionally be answering phone calls relating to a patient’s condition, tests conducted or being ordered, and other matters heavily reliant on knowing the terminology.

Skill #3: Adaptable

Things happen. Sometimes there are service delays or an appointment goes longer than expected. A medical receptionist must be adaptable to the environment, prioritizing job responsibilities as needed and accommodating emergencies as they pop up.

Skill #4: Team Player

No medical receptionist is an island. They must function as a part of a team, working well with others and making positive contributions to the overall atmosphere. For some, this part comes naturally. If it doesn’t for you, it is something one must work on.

Skill #5: Multi-Tasking

A medical receptionist fields requests that must be prioritized and completed at improvised intervals throughout the day. The ability to multi-task ensures you keep up with the completion of assigned duties while keeping the office efficient, organized, and pleasant to all stakeholders.

Skill #6: Record-Keeping

One is tasked with contributing to patient records as a medical receptionist. The information inputted must be accurate and organized, and confidentiality is a must. Furthermore, missing information might need to be obtained from other institutions or organizations, i.e. personal or financial data.

Skill #7: Upbeat Attitude

Medical settings are high-stress. At any given moment, a medical receptionist may encounter struggles or conflict and they shouldn’t let this weigh down on them. Every day, a receptionist is relied on to maintain an upbeat attitude and to represent a healthcare organization in a professional, well-mannered way.

Skill #8: Phone Manners

Patients will call, as do pharmacists, hospital representatives, physicians, and more. Phone manners are a must. This may sound very basic, however, you’d be surprised at the number of complaints that get fielded every year at rude medical receptionists or impoliteness.

Skill #9: Kindness

Kindness isn’t necessarily a skill but a choice we make in every interaction we take on. A receptionist in a healthcare setting is tasked with greeting the patient, checking them in, and ensuring they’re comfortable. Kindness goes a long way in keeping patients content in waiting.

Skill #10: Proactiveness

As a medical receptionist, you’re also tasked with maintaining inventory, checking stock, and ordering supplies as needed. This responsibility may be given to another individual, however, it’s hardly a bad skill to have in your back-pocket just in case. This part may also involve verifying receipts and aspects of financial record-keeping.

Skill #11: Organization

A medical receptionist books appointments by phone and in-person, and must ensure everything’s coordinated to meet the needs of the attending physician. One doesn’t want to overbook or under-book.

Skill #12: Follow-Ups

As a physician makes referrals or orders testing, follow-up inquiries may be necessary. In the role of medical receptionist, you may be tasked to call various facilities to ensure the correct paperwork is collected and/or to schedule subsequent visits.

Skill #13: Financial Skills

In this role, one often has to collect insurance checks and co-payments, and ensure those payments are put into the necessary software or books. Any error in this regard can make a significant impact on the financial health of a clinic and so accuracy is a necessity.

Skill #14: Rules And Regulations

A medical receptionist is knowledgeable of relevant rules and regulations, including patient confidentiality protections. It is up to the receptionist to ensure the institution they work for is protected as well as the patient. There is a responsibility to adhere to all relevant rules, which necessities a thorough understanding of them.

Skill #15: Assists the Physician

The extent of assistance a physician requires will vary job by job. Some medical receptionists update patient histories and medications, and perform record-keeping while others assist a patient into a treatment room and are tasked with offering more assistance. One must verify wholly what’s expected of them to ensure they meet this standard.

Skill #16: Software Knowledge

Various software is used throughout the day with medical receptionists. Especially in this post-COVID era where more healthcare has moved to virtual means, someone in this role must be capable of learning how to use software quickly and being adaptable to new technologies.

Skill #17: Communication Skills

A medical receptionist is the point-of-contact for many stakeholders in a medical office. One meets a range of people and must be able to communicate with each, regardless of age, background, culture, or status.